Interview with the occultist and runologist Thomas Karlsson
Greetings Thomas, we would like you to explain your beginnings with the runes, what was your first contact with them, first books….
My first encounter with the runes was through my father who was very interested in Old Norse history. Our family comes from Gotland, the homeland of the Gothic Tribes, in the Baltic Sea. Dad showed me rune stones in a lot of different places from the time I was five years old. He taught me to write with runes and about Nordic myths. I read from when I was twelve about all forms of esotericism and became interested in Nordic esotericism. I started reading Swedish books on the subject, but there were English books and above all Dr. Stephen Flowers, also known as Edred Thorsson, His books taught me a lot and I wrote letters to him when I was 14. He answered kindly and gave me a lot of tips. We’ve had contact since then and I respect him very much. The Swedish professor Sigurd Agrell (1881–1937) invented the mysterious UThARK system that combined initiatory runology with the Roman Mitras cult and other Late Antique Mystery Cults. His work inspired me alot and was my first practical map for esoteric runology.
We know you have a doctorate from the university on Runes. Tell us about it
I studied and practiced especially Rune Magic and Kabbalah in my early years as an occultist. After awhile become aware of a Swedish mystic from the 17th century and Sweden’s great power era, Johannes Bureus (1568 – 1652). He was teacher to the KIng Gustav II Adolf, known as The LIon of The North, abd influenced the KIngs in a very positive way. Bureus magical system was called Adulruna, and is a Runological Kabbalah. So two of my main interests had a predecessor 400 back in time. I started writing my doctoral dissertation about him and his system at Stockholm University, Sweden. I became Ph. D. in 2010 and my work is one of the most read doctoral dissertations in Sweden and contributed to my position as a Fellow Researcher at the prestigious Yale University USA, which belongs to The Ivy League, along with Harvard, Princeton and eight of the top American universities and some of the best in the world. For me, it is important to take part in science to get a depth of my esoteric work.
What was the most important reason that led you to write your books on esoteric runology?
I waited a long time to write books because I wanted solid knowledge and experience before sharing them. My first book was Nightside of The Runes about UThARK. I have sworn pacts to contribute to the dark esotericism and to share important knowledge. Then my practices became more and more advanced and I also studied Runology at Stockholm University. Oden told me to write the book, hehhe.
What would you say about the Runes to someone who does not know them? Why should you approach them?
The runes are not only a written language between humans, it is also a written language between gods, demons and humans. They are symbols that represent parts of the fabric of Fate and if we learn about the runes, we can influence this complex network.
The runes can give us the secret powers of the Viking Age männerbunden: and become their Totem Beast with magical powers.
The Vikings have often been portrayed as rough warriors, but in reality they were also tradesmen and town builders, and least wisdom seekers. The Vikings wrote with runes and during the Viking age they used the sixteen-stave rune row. Although the Viking age (700-1050 c.e) is the most famous pre-Christian epochs in Scandinavia, it was in fact a period of decline.
Christianity gained influence and the knowledge about the runes began to be pushed aside. Originally, the rune-row contained 24 runes and there have been speculations if this can have had any connection with the hours of the day, the Zodiac or any other esoteric principle. A guild of rune masters may have been in existence since the creation of the runes and they were called Erils, or Heruls.
The Erils or Jarls knew about the secret esoteric meanings behind the runes, perhaps they went underground when Christianity came to Scandinavia. The Swedish Professor Sigurd Agrell (1881-1937) claimed that the runes already from the outset was written in a cipher and this theory is the basis of this book Uthark-Nightside of the Runes.
What variants of runic magic work do you like best for daily practice?
By far the ordinary Elder Futhark system with 24 runes and so many books available about it. But for initiatory daily practices I would say Adulruna. It takes time to learn but is then very practical. A true Nordic Tantra, with sex magic and eroto-mysticism from the 17th century.
AdulRuna derives from Johannes Bureus (1568-1652) was among many other things the teacher of both King Gustav II Adolf and Queen Kristina. He represents what we could refer to as an Esoteric Gothicism. In his work the motif of Gothicism melts together with Esotericism in the forms of: Alchemy, Qabalah, Hermeticism, Astrology and Magic. Bureus himself called his esoteric system a Nordic Qabalah, a ”Notaricon Suethica” or a ”Kabala Upsalica”. The Esotericism of Bureus is mainly explained in his hand writings like Cabbalistica, Antiquitates Scanziana and above all in Adulruna Rediviva which he wrote in seven versions during a forty year period.
What is characteristic of Bureus is that he uses these motifs to describe a highly individual path of initiation which leads to unity with God. And a possible 11th step to the Night NOX.
Why did you choose to write about Uthark and not about traditional systems?
There were countless books on the 24 stave Elder FUThARK and I found it intrguing to investigate the two great esoteric runic systems from Sweden, the AdulRuna and The UThARK. I also see them more practical accessible for genuine deep and dark rune magic.
Tell us about the Gothic Kabbalah, what are its bases and what we can find in your book about it.
The Gothic Kabbala can only be understood by true guidance as we offer in Dragon Rouge. We are one of the few Order’s that also discuss the didactics of Esotericism: How to teach esotericism. In Dragon Rouge yoo will be able to have high quality teaching that is not only dependent on me we have created a educational program to have more teachers of the Draconian lore. This education within Dragon Rouge goes under the name Academia Draconis. Dragon Rouge emphasize the original classic Greek tradition of the Academia as a school of both body and mind, the carnal and the spiritual life of Man. Dragon Rouge is a school of Draconian teaching and the ladder to Ordo Draconis. We aslo inckudes Gotic Kabbala, and alternative Runic systems such as the Anglo-Frisian FUThORC and the brilliant Armanen system, that correlates with our musical metaphysics: Existence is musical, and the 18 rune songs are the keys to Universe Secrets. We work with empirical based occultism and our sources are both the most ancient traditions and recent science.
We know that in your book you tell us about the runes and esoteric works with them, tell us about it and how do you approach it?
I write a book based on the 16 stave Younger FUThARK. Dr. Flowers have written one brilliant book upon that, but it is more to say. I have around 1000 rune stones in my home area. And I wish to describe the runic poems that are in the Gothic Association’s magazine Iduna from the early 19th century. I will also address other orders from this time and how they practiced rune magic. One of it lives on even today, the Svea Order (SO) where I have the honor of being a rune interpreter. The Svea Order is reminiscent of the Freemasons but with Old Norse and Rune symbols instead. They were founded by 11 men in a café in 1794. The 16 stave rune row is still quite unused by rune magician but have a great potential, not least when combining them as in the rune calendar with the three “secret” Golden Runes. .
You practice stadhagaldr (rune yoga) What do you think about your daily practice?
It is like Yoga. More or less the same asanas, but I also tries to implement runic power when doing The Filipino martial art Escrima,which has sticks and correlates with the movements of
Siegfried Adolf Kummer Rune Yoga that is based on the Armanen Tradition. For runic gymnastics the by far best system today is the Norwegean Runic Martial Art Stav completely based on the runes and their traditions. The Swedish head instructor is my close friend Roland Zerpe, who has inspired me in my own runic gymnastics.
What are your favorite runologists and what books on Runes do you recommend?
Johannes Bureus, Guido von List, Sigurd Agrell, Stephen Flowers, Freya Aswynn, Nigel Pennick if we stay among the esoteric runiologists. And rising stars are the South American Ljóssal Lodursson and from Spain David Wolfheart. The best book by far is “Nightside of the Runes: Uthark, Adulruna, and the Gothic Cabbala” by a Dr. Thomas Karlssonn, heheheh, only second to The Edda and the words of Odin himself.
Some words for the web?
Let is join together. Many scattered groups are powerless. But if we join we can make or dreams come true. Let’s ride as Vikings on a Dragon Ship on the Ocean of Life
Book in spanish edition: https://www.facebook.com/editorialmanussinistra